August 11, 2016
Varghese Review a farce but business as usual for taxi industry
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) has called the Varghese Review a waste of millions of dollars but declared the recommendations will not stop the state’s taxi industry from continuing to deliver high quality service to customers.
TCQ Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Wash said the industry in Queensland is considered one of the best taxi services in the world with 20 per cent of the fleet wheelchair accessible, and it is inexplicable how lowering safety, vehicle and driver standards could possibly be a better outcome for consumers.
“It appears as though the Government has deceived Queenslanders by pretending to establish an independent review when the results were clearly predetermined.
“It’s basically a carbon copy of what happened in New South Wales, which is already creating problems and causing the Government there to reconsider aspects of their foolish decision.”
He said while the media have tried to make this debate about taxis versus uber, TCQ has always said the debate was not about competition.
“It’s about more than 16,000 small business operators who abide by the law, meet regulations, and pay their taxes, being supported over a multinational bully who has flouted the law, refused to uphold regulations, and has tried – seemingly successfully - to enter the market through intimidation.
“We have said from the outset that this was a test of the rule of law. If taxi regulations can be ignored so can all regulations and no law abiding small business is now safe from large corporate blackmail.”
Mr Wash revealed that TCQ had provided the review with hundreds of pages of evidence which, “were clearly ignored”.
“Given the weight of evidence this review obtained and the lack of regard for the process from uber it seems that this review was farcical from the start.
He also warned that until Parliament passes legislation it is still against the law to operate a taxi outside of the regulations in Queensland.